Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory arthritis leading to severe joint damage and associated with high morbidity and mortality. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are the mainstay of treatment in RA. DMARDs not only relieve the clinical signs and symptoms of RA but also inhibit the radiographic progression of disease. In the last decade, a new class of disease-modifying medications, the biologic agents, has been added to the existing spectrum of DMARDs in RA. However, patients’ response to these agents is not uniform with considerable variability in both efficacy and toxicity. There are no reliable means of predicting an individual patient’s response to a given DMARD prior to initiation of therapy. In this chapter, the current published literature on the pharmacogenetics of traditional DMARDS and the newer biologic DMARDs in RA is highlighted. Pharmacogenetics may help individualize drug therapy in patients with RA in the near future.
- Tumor necrosis factor antagonists